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BLASTS FROM THE PAST Museums at Night 2017
Fri 19 May 2017, 18:00 – 21:30 BST
BLASTS FROM THE PAST
Part of the UK's national Museums at Night festival
Royal Armouries will be participating in the very popular national Museums at Night with a rare after-hours opportunity for visitors to explore Fort Nelson and experience the power and might of the big guns.
The event will showcase guns from the Royal Armouries’ national collection of artillery featuring Victorian and Second World War weapons. Visitors will be able to experience for themselves how the museum’s character and atmosphere changes dramatically during twilight hours.
Visitors will be given exclusive after-hours access to some of the unseen subterranean areas of Fort Nelson including the rarely opened and eerie underground West tunnel. Here they will be able to learn more about the Victorian history of the tunnel and imagine what life would have been like as a soldier as they explore the West Demi Coponier, which was used as an over flow barrack room during the First World War.
Visitors will be guided through the dimly lit underground main tunnel to the North Caponier to experience the ground shake as the immense power of the 32-pounder Victorian gun is released in an explosion of sound and smoke by uniformed detachment Portsdown Artillery Volunteers.
There is also the opportunity to witness the powerful Second World War Sexton field gun, fired by uniformed detachment Ubique Right of the Line, as the sound thunders around the parade ground, bringing the after-hours event to a climactic close.
Costumed characters will provide presentations and handling sessions in the fort’s Artillery Hall and kitchen where visitors will be able to find out what Victorian garrison life was like for soldiers stationed at the Royal Armouries Fort Nelson during the Second World War. In the hospital gallery visitors will have the opportunity to experience the sights and smells of traditional Victorian medicine, examine a replica medicine bag and its contents and discover more about the pioneering work of Florence Nightingale.
Operations Manager, Nigel Hosier said, “Museums at Night is a special opportunity to experience parts of the fort which are not usually accessible as well as the live firings and costumed characters from the forts past – it is just like stepping back in time”.
The Royal Armouries’ museum at Fort Nelson is home to one of the largest collections of artillery in the UK. Set within 19 acres, there is so much to see and explore after hours including the Ramparts, Parade, tunnels, and galleries. When visitors have finished exploring Cafe 1871 will be open for a hot drink and tasty treat between 6pm and 9pm.
- Date: Friday19 May 2017
- Doors open: 6pm – 9:15 pm (last firing at 9pm)
- Tunnel gun firings have limited capacity (visitors will be issued a time slot on arrival).
- Adults: £5 Children: £3 (aged 3-15 years) Family ticket: £12.50 (1 adult & 3 children or 2 adults & 2 children).
- Suitable for families